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Heart treatment offers hope for millions of dog owners

Friday October 28th 2016

A new treatment for dogs with heart conditions could save the lives of millions of pets around the world, a study finds.

Research conducted over seven years, saw 360 dogs treated with 'pimobendan', a drug aimed at tackling onset heart failure linked to the condition mitral valve disease (MVD).

MVD is the most common heart complaint suffered by dogs and the treatment is being hailed a 'lifeline'.

The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine has published evidence showing that the drug prolongs the lives of the dogs by an average of 15 months.

Leading the study, Professor Adrian Boswood from the Royal Veterinary College, said: "Up until now, vets and dog owners had no choice but to wait until their dog developed heart failure before they could receive effective treatment. This ground-breaking research and treatment offers a lifeline to millions of dogs, by delaying heart failure for up to 15 months."

An enlarged heart is a warning sign of MVD, which mostly affects small dog breeds including dachshunds, miniature poodles and terriers.

Cavalier King Charles spaniels are around 20 times more vulnerable than the average pooch to suffer from the disease.

Broadcaster Gloria Hunniford, who owns two cavalier King Charles spaniels, Roxy, 4, and Gemma, 8, said: "Our beautiful dog Gemma was diagnosed with a heart condition after she collapsed earlier this year, but before that we saw no real signs that she might be unwell. Thankfully, she's doing well with the right medication."

This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers Pet Insurance.

Copyright Press Association 2016